December Special’s Query Package Critique has been fun, and I appreciate the bloggers who helped me get word out! (Hi Jaya, Kat, and Amelia!) I’ve really enjoyed reading and giving feedbacks on query letters and first pages; you guys are so talented! At the moment, I only have the space for one more critique so if you’ve been considering getting some feedback—here’s the window!

Now to the post!

Nudging agents sound simple enough but in reality? It can be very tricky. A fair amount of time (or months – years) has passed and you haven’t heard back from that agent you queried or who has your full manuscript. You’re drowning in anxiety BUT you also don’t want to come off as pushy. So how do you courteously nudge an agent for a response? How do you craft a message that is the perfect blend of prompting and direct?

Fret not! I’ve got you covered. Here are different scenarios and just how to go about nudging.

Nudge #1: Response / Decision Nudge aka It’s been months now and I’m dying for a response to my material.

Email Subject: FOLLOW UP for {insert Title Of Book}

Dear {Agent Name},

I submitted my query/partial/full manuscript titled XXX to your email on the {insert date}. Your website guidelines said to nudge after {number of weeks/months} if I haven’t heard back and I wanted to check in. If my material was not received I would be glad to resend it! If you’re still considering it, I look forward to hearing from you.

Thank you for your consideration.

Nudge #2: Revised Manuscript Nudge aka I just revised my first pages/manuscript thoroughly, and while you’ve not responded to the last version I think this version might sweep you off your feet.

Email Subject: REVISED MANUSCRIPT/QUERY UPDATE For {Insert Book Title}

Dear {Agent Name}

I have significantly revised my query/manuscript titled XXX and submitted on XXX changing {important elements you didn’t think worked previously} to {important changes you’ve made}. I understand that you are very busy but should you like to read the revised version, I have attached it to the email.

Thank you for your consideration!

Nudge #3: Offer of Representation Nudge aka an agent or five liked my manuscript and have offered me representation, woohoo! Would you like a piece of my awesomeness?

Email title: NOTIFICATION OF OFFER OF REP (You can include book title!)

Dear {Agent Name}

I am happy/elated to inform you that I have just received an offer of representation for {insert book title}. I have asked the offering agent for two weeks (or your given time) to make a final decision. If you’re interested in my query and would like to see more or if you’re interested in my manuscript, could you please let me know by the {include deadline date}?

Thank you for your consideration and I look forward to hearing from you.

Email #4 Decline Of Offer Of Representation. You’re right, this isn’t a nudge, but it’s also nice to know the polite/professional way to let an agent down after you’ve considered your options and decided you won’t be accepting their offer of representation. Usually, they would have put all else on hold to read your manuscript, done research on your work, and invested lots of time in communicating with you over the course of your decision time. So a polite decline is the best way to go!

Dear {Agent Name}

Thank you so much for the time and effort you put into considering me as a client. I appreciate you so much. After careful consideration I have decided to decline the offer of representation. It was an extremely difficult decision. I wish you the best with all your future projects, and thanks again for taking the time to consider me.
Best wishes!

Email #5: Acceptance Of Offer Of Representation aka I’ve fallen in love with your vision for my work, I think you’re pretty awesome, and I’d love to be your client!!

Email Title: Acceptance Of Offer Of Representation

Dear {Chosen Agent Name}

Thank you so much for the enthusiasm you’ve shown for {Insert Book Title}. I would be absolutely delighted to become your client!


Some Nudging Tips:

– Don’t nudge about queries (query letter, first pages, and synopsis) if the agent’s submissions guidelines doesn’t encourage it.

– Keep your nudge super brief and direct so it’s promptly understood.

– Don’t nudge if an agent has a ‘no response is a no’ policy.

– Don’t be scared to nudge if your full manuscript has been with an agent longer than two months.

– Don’t nudge one week after sending a query if the submission guidelines says to nudge in one month.

– If you don’t get a response to your nudge, chances are that that’s a pass so while it’s tough, don’t nudge again.

– Always include the title of your book and date of submission in your message to make it easier/faster for the agent to find your material.

– Consider nudging every agent with your material when you get that first offer of representation! Even those with just query letters, they might surprise you with what they offer!

– While waiting for a response can be difficult, don’t be passive aggressive in/with your nudges. Be polite and professional.

And there we have it. Good luck with your nudges, writers, and I hope you get that offer of representation!

Lucia O is an avid writer, one of her prominent projects being DESTITUTES AND FIENDS, a regency retelling of the Beauty and the Beast.

8 thoughts on “How To Nudge Literary Agents: Templates and Tips

  1. I have a number of agents I intend to nudge. I’ve been putting it off because I’ve been so nervous about getting a rejection to my full manuscripts, but once I’m ready I’m going to use these template and tips. Thanks for sharing!


  2. I love your blog aesthetics so much 😍 It’s true that nudging agent can be tricky. When you’ve had it with very long waits—especially with full manuscripts—you might be tempted to get passive aggressive. You’re right that we should always be polite and professional no matter what. And your templates help perfectly with that!


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